A former Muncie Police Department officer faces up to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to assaulting an arrestee and falsifying a report to cover up the offense.
Jeremy Gibson, 31, pleaded guilty to deprivation of rights under color of law and obstruction of justice in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. He entered his plea on Friday — three years to the day from the incident in question.
According to court documents, on May 13, 2019, Gibson initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle with a non-working headlight in Muncie. After a brief interaction with E.M., the driver, and passenger D.M., Gibson requested a K-9 unit to search the car for drugs.
When the unit arrived and E.M., who tried to record the incident on his phone, stepped out of the car, Gibson attempted to take E.M. to the ground — without giving a verbal command — and “punched E.M. several times with a closed fist,” according to court documents.
Gibson used several hand and knee strikes against E.M. Also, Gibson and officer Chase Winkle delivered knee strikes to the arrestee’s head from both sides.
Winkle then tased E.M. before putting him in handcuffs.
After the incident, Gibson authored a report falsely claiming he took E.M. to the ground “because E.M. did not comply with his commands to get on the ground, and … intentionally omitted the fact that he and Officer Winkle used knee strikes to E.M.’s head and facial area toward the end of the incident.”
Gibson, Winkle, officer Corey Posey and Sgt. Joseph Krejsa were all charged in April 2021 in a 17-count superseding indictment for their roles in the incident and subsequent report.
Winkle, Posey and Kresja are scheduled to stand trial in August.
A fifth former Muncie police officer, Dalton Kurtz, pleaded guilty last August to misprision of felony for concealing and failing to report inappropriate use of force by Winkle during a separate incident.
Gibson is scheduled for sentencing on Nov. 9 before Chief Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation.